History of Woodstock

August 15, 2018

HISTORY OF WOODSTOCK August 15 marks the anniversary of the “3-days of Peace & Music” held in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, southwest of the village of Woodstock. I’d like to share with you what it was like to be there — the music, the crowds the atmosphere, the sense of history, what it was like to hear Jimi Hendrix electrically reinterpret the national anthem  The Star-Spangled Banner, to experience the frenetic exuberance of The Who define a new youth anthem with We’re Not Gonna Take It for My…

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History of August

August 1, 2018

HISTORY OF AUGUST What’s in a name? The name of this month wasn’t always August, previously it was called Sextilis by the Romans, back in the days of Romulus in 753 BC when there were originally 10 months (Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec.) The Roman Senate, in 8 B.C. decided to honor their first Emperor, Augustus Caesar, by changing the name of the month to Augustus. Now Augustus wasn’t his name, it was more of a description of his importance. He was born as Gaius Octavius, though he is known in the history books as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus or Octavius…

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History of Reek Sunday, part 3: Location

July 29, 2018

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, Part 3: LOCATION In our previous article on Reek Sunday, we discussed the Pilgrimage to County Mayo, Ireland for Cruach Phadraig — as it is known in Irish — that is also called “The Reek.” It stands at 764 meters or 2510 feet elevation. It is located about 5 miles from the lovely town of Westport, an Irish Tidy Town. St. Patrick’s “Confessions,” tells of his slavery in the wood of Fochluth. Evidence relating to the history of St. Patrick suggests that this location was actually on the west shore of Ireland in this area. Westport,…

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History of Reek Sunday, part 2: Pilgrimage

July 28, 2018

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, part 2: PILGRIMAGE Pilgrims, nature lovers, archeologists, historians, and hill climbers come from all over the world to climb the mountain on Reek Sunday. In our previous article, we discussed the Tradition. Here we discuss the pilgrimage that has been going on for centuries, and an older one for millennia. More on that later. The current one has been going on actively since 1905 with the dedication of the new St. Patrick’s Oratory. Pilgrimages had fallen off following the Great Hunger (Potato Famine) of the 1840s and efforts were made to revitalize it. On Sunday, July…

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History of Reek Sunday

July 27, 2018

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY Several years ago at this time of the Summer, I was on the west coast of Ireland, where they say, “West o’ here, ta next parish over, tat’s Boston.” This Sunday, the last one in July every year, marks Reek Sunday, or Garland Sunday in Ireland. At this time between 25,000 and 40,000 people will walk the 3-hour round trip up the Reek Mountain, or Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, Ireland, the sacred mountain of St. Patrick in a popular pilgrimage in honor of the patron saint of Ireland, commemorating his driving the snakes from Ireland.…

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History of William Wilberforce

July 26, 2018

HISTORY OF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE 185 years ago today, on July 26, 1833, the Emancipation Act passed its third reading in the House of Commons, ensuring the end of slavery in the British Empire. It was authored by William Wilberforce. August 24 marks the birthday of British statesman and England’s greatest abolitionist William Wilberforce. He was a man well known to the Framing Fathers of the American Revolution and became in his day, not just a politician, philanthropist and abolitionist, but also a writer of such popularity (in his own day) as C.S. Lewis was in the 20th century. As I…

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History of Bastille Day

July 13, 2018

HISTORY OF BASTILLE DAY Each year on July 14 Bastille Day is celebrated to commemorate the Storming of the Bastille in Paris on this date in 1789, an important date in the French Revolution. The day features feasting, fireworks, public dancing, and an address by the French President. However, the center of this celebration is the largest and oldest European military parade along the Avenue of the Champs-Élysées, a wide boulevard that runs through Paris and is called la plus belle avenue du monde. Lined by high-end shops and eateries, as well as the Arc of Triumph in the middle, it…

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History of French Fries: National French Fry Day

July 13, 2018
French Fries

History of French Fries Today is National French Fry Day. While no one knows who began this celebration, placing in on July 13 is significant in that the most important French holiday is the next day, July 14 for Bastille Day. History Some French people might call the delectable potato confection Belgian Fries, and there is evidence that they may have originated there. However, due to the recent defeat of the Belgians to the French at the World Cup games, I cannot find any French people who will any credit to the Belgians on these historical facts. A Belgian journalist…

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History of John Calvin

July 10, 2018

HISTORY OF JOHN CALVIN On July 10, 1509, in Noyon, France was born Jean Cauvin, known to us as John Calvin. Of all the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, none were as significant in forming systematic theology or ecclesiastic thought as this one man. Calvin’s teaching and tradition penetrated more of the world than any other of the Protestant traditions. He would most influence the worldview of Western Europe, the UK, and the Americas until the Modern period of history. His organization of the church government in Geneva would influence the church polity of Presbyterianism. Influence on American Many of the ideas…

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History of Woodstock

August 15, 2018

HISTORY OF WOODSTOCK August 15 marks the anniversary of the “3-days of Peace & Music” held in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, southwest of the village of Woodstock. I’d like to share with you what it was like to be there — the music,…

Read More

History of August

August 1, 2018

HISTORY OF AUGUST What’s in a name? The name of this month wasn’t always August, previously it was called Sextilis by the Romans, back in the days of Romulus in 753 BC when there were originally 10 months (Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec.) The Roman Senate, in 8 B.C. decided to honor their first Emperor, Augustus…

Read More

History of Reek Sunday, part 3: Location

July 29, 2018

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, Part 3: LOCATION In our previous article on Reek Sunday, we discussed the Pilgrimage to County Mayo, Ireland for Cruach Phadraig — as it is known in Irish — that is also called “The Reek.” It stands at 764 meters or 2510 feet elevation. It is located about 5 miles from…

Read More

History of Reek Sunday, part 2: Pilgrimage

July 28, 2018

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, part 2: PILGRIMAGE Pilgrims, nature lovers, archeologists, historians, and hill climbers come from all over the world to climb the mountain on Reek Sunday. In our previous article, we discussed the Tradition. Here we discuss the pilgrimage that has been going on for centuries, and an older one for millennia. More…

Read More

History of Reek Sunday

July 27, 2018

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY Several years ago at this time of the Summer, I was on the west coast of Ireland, where they say, “West o’ here, ta next parish over, tat’s Boston.” This Sunday, the last one in July every year, marks Reek Sunday, or Garland Sunday in Ireland. At this time between 25,000…

Read More